The Pickwick Learning Teaching School Alliance, Wiltshire ~ Day 2

| April 15, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Corsham Primay School

Following yesterday’s INSET for the Pickwick Learning Teaching School Alliance  today is a lessons day at Corsham Primary School. A morning with two Y5 classes and one Y2 class of pupils in the afternoon with teachers and TAs attending the sessions followed by an after school session with any staff who wish to come along and find out more about these sessions.. Many thanks again to James Passmore, Deputy Head of Corsham Primary, for coordinating today’s sessions.



It is always interesting, to mix writing, thinking, speaking, and listening, with movement. The use of physical actions to reinforce new concepts and terms can ensure that pupils retain knowledge for use in further activities at later dates. In fact, somebody once said they were quite surprised, when teaching a class about simile and metaphor after being involved in one of these sessions, that their class all started to strike poses and pull funny faces when reciting the terminology!

The strategies adhered to a social constructivist method of learning (I know! oooh er eh?!); we encouraged children to share as a class, in groups and with partners, channeling  their excitement and energy into expressive and focussed activities. Some improvised drama, where children took on spontaneous roles, immersing them in the world on “the screen” ~ although the screen is never referred to, ~ it becomes REAL. These on-the-spot performances were impressive to observe, unleashing come creative power without children being prepared by being given specific lines of dialogue.

After a good deal of discussion, the children wrote spontaneously, producing work of a high quality full of vivid imagery. They were also encouraged to refine their spoken language & clarify their ideas. Despite the length of the session, they remained on task and enthusiastic throughout.

Some superb writing, dramatic involvement and effort all round. Well done ALL!

In reality, you couldn’t do lesson sessions, like the ones we did today, without knowing EXACTLY what you want to achieve. The aim is to make it look, and feel, and genuinely BE a shared learning journey. Instead of showing that you knew you were going to ask the children to do, it can be a simple, yet incredibly effective step, to pretend you have just made the challenge up yourself.

We explored everything from persuasive language and balanced arguments, through to taking off and flying with descriptive imaginations of what might lay beyond where we stood, in a mysterious, fantasy landscape.

Instead of letting on that you have a learning objective, already in the appropriate box (and written in bold, so that the inspector doesn’t miss it on your planning!) it can be an effective spur to action, can’t it, if we “suddenly make the idea up, on the spur of the moment” ;-D

And, it is not about the technology. You could do what we did today about a big book, an artefact, or even a blank piece of paper.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

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